Fighting for survival
“It is difficult to explain what we went through. While fleeing from Myanmar, we went days without food. For me, the worst thing was seeing my parents and my children starving,” says Sher Mohammad, 32 years of age, who travelled on foot for eight days with his wife, his three small children, and their elderly parents. The Rohingya family is now sharing a tent made of bamboo poles and tarps with another family. They were able to survive thanks to the little food that was distributed.
Experiencing Unimaginable Suffering
Just like Sher, thousands of desperate people are living in makeshift shelters in one of the camps of the subdistrict of Ukhia. The Muslim Rohingya have been suffering persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar for decades. According to ISCG, some 919,000 people fled from the violence in Myanmar to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh between late August 2017 and July 2018. More than half of the refugees are children.
Chumi, 14, and Nazmul, 8, have no family left. Their mother died many years ago, and their father fell victim to the recent violence. “Four men came and set our house on fire. We were able to flee, but as we were running toward the forest, my father was shot,” recounts the 14-year-old girl.
The situation in Cox’s Bazar continues to be very challenging. Many people are traumatised and live in precarious conditions. They lack food, clean water, and sanitation facilities. In summer and autumn, this is exacerbated by the threat of monsoons and cyclones. Such extreme weather events compound the challenges facing these people, who largely live in fragile improvised shelters. Landslides have already left many of them homeless again.
Welthungerhilfe in Cox’s Bazar
The names in this article have been changed.